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In Bocca Performance’s “Like Demons” is Not Your Dad’s History Play

Review by Blair Godshall  of “Like Demons”: In Bocca Performance

We’ve all seen historical plays (likely written for museums or schools who still teach using a VHS) and we’ve thought to ourselves “this is an old story.” When we hear “American Civil War” we may only envision Confederate, slave owning soldiers fighting against Abraham Lincoln and the Union; but that may be a misleading, inaccurate idea of the complexity that took place nearly 100 years after America was established as a nation of freedom.

Whatever thoughts come to mind, it’s all plenty old nonetheless—and, as with everything old (like buried treasure) if you dig a bit more, you’ll find something seemingly new. New ideas, people, places and things always being freshly discovered. It’s what I had the pleasure of finding at In Bocca Performance in Cincinnati this past weekend.

          This Civil War Era play, directed by Alice Flanders and written by Maggie Lou Rader (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Member), is the story of Emma Edmondson (later Edmonds) who learned very quickly what it meant to live/survive as both a woman and a man in a time when being a single woman was unheard of. How could she earn money to support herself if all the positions available were for men? How could she fight for her country when only male soldiers were allowed on the battlefield?
If I were her, where would these dilemmas lead me and how would I resolve this? I asked myself these questions as I followed Emma Edmond’s journey (passionately, humorously and sincerely played by Hannah Gregory).

If I could do an entire feature piece solely on the cast, I would, but seeing is believing and I encourage anyone interested in new plays, new playwrights, strong female leads, female produced and directed shows, stories by women, stories for women, stories of men and women working together for a common goal, equality between the sexes and of course, compelling stories with a great ensemble cast, then “Like Demons” is a play you need to see. With all new plays, I tell people “every play, musical, movie and TV show was once a new work and this is no different.”

“Like Demons” produced by In Bocca Performance will play its final performance Monday November 25 at 7:30. For more about “In Bocca Performance” and for tickets check out their website, http://inboccaperformance.comT